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[193] Carver's own material with observations from previous writers; nor does he fail to mention, in the casual way of the time, authorities like Charlevoix and Adair, from whom, as we now look at things, we must say he unblushingly filches. Here is one of the examples pointed out by Professor Bourne. Charlevoix had said of the Indians in the English translation:

On the smoothest grass, or the hardest earth, even on the very stones, they will discover the traces of an enemy, and by their shape and figure of the footsteps, and the distance between their prints, they will, it is said, distinguish not only different nations, but also tell whether they were men or women who have gone that way.

And in Carver we read:

On the smoothest grass, on the hardest earth, and even on the very stones, will they discover the traces of an enemy, and by the shape of the footsteps, and the distance between the prints, distinguish not only whether it is a man or woman who has passed that way, but even the nation to which they belong.

In spite of his borrowings, and in spite of incredible and monstrous stories, even worse than the sordid actualities of savage life, Carver maintains that he is strictly veracious:

I shall in no instance exceed the bounds of truth, or have recourse to those useless and extravagant exaggerations too often made use of by travellers, to excite the curiosity of the public, or to increase their own importance. Nor shall I insert any observations but such as I have made myself, or, from the credibility of those by whom they were related, am enabled to vouch for their authenticity.

These false pretensions easily lead one to underestimate the element of truth in the narrative, and Carver's share in its production. Carver was not too uneducated to make notes and gather materials for a book. He could write a long coherent letter to his first wife, and specimens of his writing are not in the hand of an ignorant man. He, not less than his assistant or assistants in publication, could have met with the works of Charlevoix, Adair, and Lahontan in London book-stalls. But it was hardly his pen that made reference to Plato and Grotius.

The volume is dedicated “To Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society.” Then follows, in the second edition, a

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